GIA to showcase rare 1925 Catalog of Romanov Jewels

 GIA to showcase rare 1925 Catalog of Romanov JewelsAn extensive digitization project by GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center will bring the first ever showcase of surviving copies of a Bolshevik-era catalog of royal jewels to the public. These are one of the few surviving copies seized during the Russian Revolution.

“Following the emperor’s overthrow in 1917, noted mineralogist A.E. Fersman, with help from experts and jewelers including Agathon Fabergé, was tasked with photographing and cataloging Russia’s regalia and crown jewels,” said Dona Dirlam, director of GIA’s library.

“In 1925-26, the Bolshevik government published Russia’s Treasure of Diamonds and Precious Stones with the intention that the 406 Romanov jewels featured would never be sold. Eventually several of the pieces went to auction; approximately 20 copies of the Fersman catalog are known to exist today.”

The jewels featured in the Fersman catalog were collected by the Romanov dynasty. Among the 406 treasures are the Imperial Sceptre set with the 189 carat Orlov diamond, the Imperial Globe set with a 200 carat sapphire, the Great Imperial Crown, the Imperial Nuptial Crown, chains, stars, crosses, emblems, diadems, necklaces, brooches, rings, earrings, as well as loose diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, spinels, pearls and alexandrites.

GIA plans to make a special presentation on the catalog to attendees of the 2016 annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Denver on September 27.

More than 200 important works, including major studies related to minerals, gems, and jewelry, are made downloadable through the GIA library digitization project. Additional highlights of the collection available for download include De Gemmarum Lapidum by Marbode, Bishop of Rennes (1539); Documents de Bijouterie et Orfevrerie Modernes by Paul Follot (1895); The Curious Lore of Precious Stones by George Frederick Kunz (1913); and De Gemmis et Lapidibus Libri Duoby Joannes de Laet (1647).

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